Socialist Worker

Coryton workers target Purfleet to save their refinery jobs

Issue No. 2308

Protesting at Vopak near Purfleet  (Pic: Alan Kenny)

Protesting at Vopak near Purfleet (Pic: Alan Kenny)


Around 100 people protested in Purfleet, Essex, yesterday (Monday) as part of the fight to save the threatened Coryton oil refinery.

The Unite union’s protest was a last-ditch effort to demand the government steps in to save the threatened refinery.

Some 800 workers face the sack if it shuts—200 of them this week alone.

Russell Jackson from Unite was on the protest. He said, “We don’t seem to be listened to at the moment. We need to pull attention to our plight. No one will listen to us unless we take some action.”

The protesting workers blocked the gate of the nearby Vopak oil refinery in an effort to block oil tankers.

They held a petrol station banner in front of the entrance reading “Shell apologise for the temporary closure of this site.” But police broke up the picket.

Three protesters were arrested at the demo and held at an Essex police station for several hours before being released early on Tuesday morning.


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